Press Release

National Geographic Society Names Darien Wright as Chief Financial and Operating Officer

Wright to be a strategic partner to the CEO, senior leadership team and board to advance the Society’s mission.

The National Geographic Society has named Darien Wright its Chief Financial and Operating Officer, effective March 28, 2024. In this role, Wright will lead the organization’s financial and operational functions, including financial planning and analysis, accounting, treasury and risk management.

Wright will also oversee the Society leaders responsible for its endowment and investment portfolio, technology solutions and Base Camp experiences to further the Society’s mission. In addition, Wright will serve as a key liaison to financial leadership at The Walt Disney Company, in support of the joint venture between the Society and Disney, and sit on the board of National Geographic Partners.

“We are thrilled to welcome Darien to our team,” said Jill Tiefenthaler, CEO of the National Geographic Society. “An accomplished, dynamic and forward-thinking leader, Darien brings an impressive blend of financial acumen and operational expertise across a variety of complex industries that will be invaluable to accelerating our mission during this pivotal moment in the National Geographic Society’s history.“

Prior to joining the Society, Wright drove the strategic growth and day-to-day operations of a Brookfield Asset Management-owned portfolio company, from its inception to a $1.5 billion successful exit. As Chief Operating Officer of the 111-hotel platform, he led a team which included real estate development, asset management, acquisitions, dispositions, accounting, legal and human resources.

Previously, Wright was an executive with Marriott International for nearly 12 years in leadership positions across financial planning and analysis, corporate finance and development asset management. Wright also built an operations finance team at Sprint Nextel Corporation which delivered business models to evaluate growth initiatives and measured the effectiveness of marketing spend and sponsorships. He began his career at Accenture and Coopers & Lybrand.

“It’s truly an honor to join the National Geographic Society, a world-class organization with an iconic brand, a critical nonprofit mission and a bold vision for the future,” said Wright. “Our family has enjoyed the Society’s museum exhibitions and powerful media content, and to have the opportunity to amplify this organization’s global impact is special. I am excited to collaborate with the Society’s diverse team and its partners to develop innovative financial and operational strategies to ensure a sustainable business model.”

Originally from New York, Wright sits on the NAMI National Board of Directors, serving on the Finance and Audit Committee. He has also served on the Boards of Trustees for The Woods Academy and McLean School. Wright holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Binghamton University, an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is also a certified public accountant.

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About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.